After a much needed break and “chill time” in my recipe, I’m back to continue in this endeavour. In fact, I reunited myself with the baking processes almost instantly upon my return from vacation. The day after I arrived home I had a meeting with my mentor. As my mentor didn’t have any orders or specific dishes to make, she had chosen some new and unique treats for us to try. We had an action-packed afternoon of baking wherein we made three different recipes.
We alternated throughout the session between a chocolate zucchini cake, some cranberry scones, and then finished with some Belgian waffles. I didn’t get a picture of the waffles, but they were delicious, however, I did snap a few shots of some of the zucchini cake and a few of the scones after bringing them back from my mentor.
I apologize for the the zucchini cake being slightly chopped up. We were very eager to get a taste and then realized I should take a photo first!
As you can see, on the zucchini cake we added a sprinkling of icing sugar to give it some sweetness, and on the scones, we first coated the tops with melted butter and then sprinkled them with regular white sugar for some additional flavour.
I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the chocolate zucchini cake as I am not sure if I have even had zucchini before this, but my mentor, as after every completed recipe, insisted I try some, and to my slight surprise, it was extremely good! Then again, why should I be surprised, my mentor is an outrageous baker, anything she touches is delicious. I found that the cake tasted a lot like banana loaf: not extremely sweet, but very satisfying.
As for the scones, they were also very good. Unlike the zucchini though, I have had countless scones before, and of different types. The sugar on the top added a nice touch, and when some butter is added to freshly cut open insides of the scone, it collapses into your mouth very tastily.
Set aside all of this baking, the reason I chose the title “The Process and The Recipe” for this post, was because of the Edward de Bono topics for this reporting period. This post’s topics are ‘Concepts’, and ‘Alternatives’. I thought these fit very well into recipes and process as there are always key skills, or concepts, that must be done correctly for the recipe to turn out well and there are always multiple variations, or alternatives, to which the recipe can be completed or changed.
Listed below are some examples of some concepts my mentor and I have used, talked about, or worked on in my recent sessions. In addition, I have listed, beside the concept, a couple examples of ‘Practical Ideas’ of the concept. De Bono has said “Concepts are the parents of practical ideas” :
– Mixing: whisking, stirring, mixing(mixer)
-Sweetening: adding sugar, using milk in replacement of water(richening)
– Melting: microwave, room temperature, stove
– Non-sticking: greasing, flour, vegetable oil spray
– Molding: cutting, kneading, rolling
As you can see from these examples of some baking concepts, they flow naturally into the theory of alternatives. De Bono explains how alternatives allow one to grow upon the basic skills or task and go deeper into it. He also talks of how alternatives are for both the future(action), present, and past(perception). I found this statement very interesting as it shows how our chosen route can govern all aspects of our life, whatever that route may be.
As you can see, all of the different ideas listed above are alternatives of each other. My mentor has both shown and told me of various ways of doing things when baking. One particular alternative that stuck out to me as very valuable and interesting was her alternative of using milk in store-bought cake recipes instead of water. She told me how this would make the cake seem fresher and not like it was made from a box. She expanded further by telling me that I could use this alternative for any recipe and it would have the same effect.
Further, as I discussed in a previous post, she recently gave me many useful combinations, or mixtures, on how to make different ingredients that are often found in recipes so that I don’t have to buy them from the store. One of these was making self-rising flour out of other common ingredients.
The most important alternative, and the truth of a baker’s love for baking, is that most treats, desserts, along with many other foods you see in stores, can be made by hand, by yourself. My mentor, of course, has shared this with me multiple times and this past session joked about how she had seen scones in the store and how expensive they were, and thought to herself, “you know, it’s not that hard to make those”.
Well that’s all for now. I hope all of you had just as relaxing and enjoyable break as I did and I look forward to what the future holds in the closing chapter of my first high school year, and this baking endeavour!